The Last Bride in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

After reading more than enough about crimes, murders and mysteries, I decided to take a break for a while to a different genre of books. My mother suggested The Ballymuir Series and said it was about love, happiness and Ireland. What else do I need to convince myself. Therefore, I started off the series of three books with The Last Bride in Ballymuir.

The story mainly focuses on a man named Michael Kilbride who recently was released from jail for murder (so much for getting away from the crime stories, mom). Michael’s mother still will not look or talk to him since the incident so he went to live with his sister, Vi, in Ballymuir. Vi is a well-known painter who owns her in shop in the middle of town. That is why Michael is a hot topic around the city as soon as he arrives.

The second Michael hits the streets to roam and look for work, the town is gossiping about his past and making generalizations about him not being a good fit for the town. All the locals are outright rude to him and it seems as if work will be hard to come by.

Then, while walking from the town to Vi’s house, Michael spotted a gorgeous woman working in a field moving rocks. He politely joined and helped her for a bit without either talking much at all. After a while, the lady, Kylie, invited him in and they hit it off. She accepted him for who he is and they quickly became close friends.

We find out later that Kylie is a school teacher and well-known throughout the town as well. Her father went to prison for knowingly borrowing money to create hotel properties but instead designing his own mansion-sized house and going in debt still. What the town doesn’t know is that Kylie’s dad was so desperate that he whored her out to get out of their debt. Kylie was raped by her father’s business associate and has never been touched by a man again– until now.


Spoiler- The Last Bride in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

*Note- This post continues the writing from the Book Summaries page. Please read for previous details.*

We left with Kylie’s little secret she has always kept quiet: her rape. But she is not the only character that has kept secrets over the years. Michael, who went to jail for murder, was actually no murderer at all. He did the time for a different crime. In a private discussion with Kylie and throughout his thoughts within the book, we finally can see the true story behind Michael.

Michael had a girlfriend back in the day who he supposedly loved. She, however, did not seem to have the same intentions. One night when they were out together with another mutual friend named Brian, the whole thing unraveled. Cops showed up and found explosives to create a bomb hidden in Michael’s car that were placed there by his ‘girlfriend’. Brian, the so-called mutual friend, was actually making love to Michael’s girlfriend on the side and the two were using Michael for transporting the explosives. The girl was killed that night but Brian did his time in jail for the crime as well. Knowing that Michael was out of jail, Brian tried to contact Michael by calling Vi’s house with threats to kill his family and his new love, Kylie.

Kylie and Michael had a tough enough time meeting up with their own busy lives despite their own personal reputations throughout the town. The two tended to meet up for a casual dinner at Kylie’s house, right down the street from Vi’s. However, Kylie’s friend and grandmother figure, Breege, fell while living alone and needed someone to look after her as per request of the doctor. So, Kylie took Breege in and Michael was not able to come over as often. Michael did see benefit in this though by finding a place to do construction work in Breege’s barn down the street. Also, Kylie partnered up with Vi to host an art event by the students at her school and found herself working with Vi some nights. Then, yet another hurdle came in the lover’s path: Michael’s much younger twin brothers came in town. These two ran away from home in need of an escape from their crazy mother. After a bit of convincing, Michael saw this as a positive aspect of his life by being able to befriend more family members as well as use the boys for help with his construction work.

One night, Michael received another personal threat on Kylie from Brian to kill her off so Michael took matters into his own hands. He traveled to a nearby city that was known for a shady bar where past inmates would meet up and trouble went down. He covered his tracks with Vi and Kylie by leaving a hotel location written down and said he was on a business trip. They just didn’t know what bad business he was getting into. Michael found Brian and the two fist-fighted in an alley beside the bar Michael tracked him down at. Ready to strangle and kill Brian, Michael found courage to walk away after realizing how killing Brian would affect his future with Kylie. So he walked away with a busted lip and his head held high while Brian was struggling to breathe and making threats that he will regret not finishing him off then.

When Michael got back to the hotel, he was surprised by Kylie at the door of his room. She thought it would be a nice surprise but was more shocked to see his mangled face. Michael told her the whole story and confessed to lying to protect her, which she seemed to understand. Then he surprised her with a ring that he bought earlier that day and proposed to Kylie; she exuberantly said yes.

After the two were back home, rumors seemed to spread once again at the opening of the art exhibit that Vi and Kylie have been planning. The cops came in demanding for the arrest Michael for the murder of Brian. This outraged Kylie since she trusted Michael and knew he wasn’t the one to finish him off. After a few days in prison for Michael, the cops discovered a hammer in a nearby trash can with the prints from a drug dealer that worked with Brian. Turns out, Brian wasn’t doing his share and this was his punishment.

So, the happy ending that books should have finally came along in my fourth book this year. Michael and Kylie were going to live happily ever after in Breege’s old house and the two were wedded in the last scene of the book. Kylie’s father was working on becoming a successful man one day at a name and received no help from Kylie. Vi sold her work to a wealthy American and continued to pursue her love of art.


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